Marilyn Holds the Spotlight at Julien’s Auctions

Over 100 Marilyn-related lots went under the hammer this weekend as part of the Hollywood Classic & Contemporary event at Julien’s Auctions. Concluding a three-part series, I’m looking at selected items which shed light on Marilyn’s dazzling career.

Above left: “Vintage colour transparency shot by Ed Clark, a photographer for LIFE magazine. According to Clark, a friend called him in 1950 and asked if he wanted to photograph a ‘hot tomato.’ Monroe had just had a supporting role in The Asphalt Jungle and was about to appear in All About Eve. In a 1999 interview with Digital Journalist, Clark said: ‘She was almost unknown then, so I was able to spend a lot of time shooting her … We’d go out to Griffith Park [in Los Angeles] and she’d read poetry. I sent several roles to LIFE in New York, but they wired back, Who the hell is Marilyn Monroe?’ The photos were not published until after she became a star.” – SOLD for $780

Centre: “A vintage colour photographic transparency of Marilyn Monroe – printed later – originally taken by Frank Powolny [to promote Monkey Business, 1952.] Monroe wears a Catalina bathing suit.” – SOLD for $780

Right: “A colour studio transparency showing images of Marilyn taken during a shoot for Niagara [shot in 1952, often attributed to Bruno Bernard.] – SOLD for $1,170

“An original set of lithographs from photographer Nickolas Muray of Marilyn wearing a pink off-the-shoulder blouse and blue plaid skirt and holding a basket of apples [shot in 1952.] A black and white and one of the 7-9 layer colour negatives are of the most famous from the shoot, while the other two color sets appear to be non-published alternates. Included is an original proof sheet and a while envelope that reads in part, ‘Job #1635 / Date October 24, 1958 / Subject M. Monroe w/ basket of apples.’ The photos and negatives are housed in a Kodak box with a sticker on one side that reads ‘Marilyn Monroe with apples.'” – SOLD for $1,300

Above, at top: Two framed photos by Joseph Scheer, showing Marilyn with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis at the 1953 Redbook Awards, where she was named the Best Young Box-Office Personality. – SOLD for $1,950 (left) and $1,040 (right)

Bottom: Vintage photo of Marilyn with Lauren Bacall on the set of How to Marry a Millionaire (1953.) The verso is stamped ‘Silver Screen’ and marked ‘M-19’ in blue pen ink. – SOLD for $1,040

Above, at top: “A carved wood title created by Pacific Title for the closing credits of the film River of No Return (1954).” – SOLD for $650

Bottom: “A clipped article from the May 1961 issue of Movie Life magazine titled ‘Bob Mitchum Tells How Marilyn Saved My Life!’ In the article, actor Robert Mitchum recounts a story that took place when he filmed River of No Return opposite Monroe. Also featured within the clipping is an update on Monroe’s health at the time and a story of how Mitchum first met Monroe during the 1940s while she was still married to her first husband Jim Dougherty.” – SOLD for $455

At left: Vintage photo of Marilyn with ‘Hollywood’s most noted stunt girl’, Helen Thurston, on location for River of No Return in Canada, 1953. – SOLD for $650

At right: Vintage photo of Marilyn reading her script for River of No Return. – SOLD for $1,170

At left: “An issue of The Host, an Osaka Army Hospital newsletter, that belonged to Marilyn. The Volume V, number 2 issue is dated March 6, 1954 and inside is a two-page spread of photos showing Marilyn performing and having lunch with military patients at the hospital along with a short article about her visit.” – SOLD for $780

At right: “A clipping from the Honolulu Advertiser dated February 19, 1954 reporting on Marilyn’s visit to Korea and her performance for the U.S. troops that was personally owned by the actress. The clipping features a photo with the caption ‘Marilyn Monroe in Korea / Soldiers riot to see her.’ The headline of the accompanying article reads ‘GI Trampled In Crush To See Marilyn Monroe.'” – SOLD for $455

At left: “A bound final draft of the screenplay for Bus Stop (1956) that personally belonged to Marilyn Monroe’s acting coach Paula Strasberg and is annotated by her throughout. The blue cover is printed with the words ‘Bus Stop / February 27, 1956’ in the center … ‘Final’ in the upper right … and has the initials ‘PMS’ (for Paula Miller Strasberg) written in ink near the top. The script is 123 pages long and features many blue revision pages. Strasberg circled every mention of Monroe’s character’s name Cherie in red ink and wrote her notes throughout in both red ink and pencil and in some cases crossed out portions of Cherie’s dialogue.” – SOLD for $3,900

At right: Vintage oversized photo of Marilyn as a ‘Renoir Girl’, taken by Jack Cardiff in London, 1956. – SOLD for $1,040

Above, at top: Marilyn’s personally owned paperback edition of the screenplay for The Prince and the Showgirl (Signet Books, 1957) by Terence Rattigan, published as a movie tie-in. – SOLD for $780

Bottom: Marilyn’s personally owned issue of Showplace, the Radio City Music Hall programme, dated June 13th, 1957, featuring photos of Marilyn and Laurence Olivier, her co-star in The Prince and the Showgirl. The film’s US premiere was held at the New York venue on that day, with Marilyn as guest of honour. – SOLD for $780

At left: “Marilyn’s personally owned early draft of the Let’s Make Love screenplay. The light blue cover is printed with the film’s original title, The Billionaire, is dated November 13, 1959 … the top right side has the words ‘Complete A.M.’ (possibly the initials of Arthur Miller) written and underlined in pencil. The script is 158 typewritten yellow pages and there has some light annotations made in pencil, including portions of a scene crossed out. A single loose page of white paper is typewritten with the words ‘154 (old script)’ at the top and features an exchange of dialogue between the characters Jean-Marc and Amanda.” – SOLD for $3,900

At right: Rare contact sheet from Let’s Make Love. Marilyn is pictured in a black leotard. Some frames show Marilyn alone, and in others she is joined by co-stars Yves Montand and Frankie Vaughan. – SOLD for $1,950

“Marilyn’s personally owned Autumn 1960 issue of Sight and Sound magazine with a photo of Marilyn Monroe in a scene from the film Let’s Make Love (1960) on the cover. Accompanied by a cover of the same magazine but with the price in English currency in the upper left corner.”

Both feature reviews of Let’s Make Love by Penelope Houston, which reads in part: “Let’s Make Love more or less epitomises the Hollywood of 1960. It has an international cast, with two performances of dazzling charm and professionalism … Yves Montand’s millionaire, straining to repress the arrogance of power, and Marilyn Monroe’s actress, with her shapeless knitting, her geography text-books, and her rich and absolute delight in being herself, achieve that rather special brand of near-realism which thoroughly likeable acting can impose on paper-thin but not unsympathetic writing.” – SOLD for $650

At left: “A contact sheet of 17 images from the set of The Misfits (1961) possibly taken by Eve Arnold. The sheet contains images of Marilyn Monroe in a truck, as well as images of Clark Gable, Eli Wallach, and Montgomery Clift in the desert.” – SOLD for $1,170

At right: “A front page from the March 30, 1961 issue of The Hollywood Reporter that belonged to Marilyn. The top of the page is printed with the name and address of Arthur P. Jacobs, who was Monroe’s press agent and had presumably sent the issue to his client. The lower right features an item outlined in red pencil about the reissue of River of No Return and the possibility of Marilyn starring in the comedy Goodbye Charlie [an offer she rejected – it was eventually made with Debbie Reynolds and Tony Curtis in 1964.] – SOLD for $260

Above, at top: “Vintage photo [generally attributed to Lawrence Schiller] of Marilyn with director George Cukor on the set of Something’s Got to Give (1962). The film was never completed due to various factors, including Marilyn’s personal problems and conflicts with the studio.” – SOLD for $325

Bottom: “Vintage photo of Marilyn celebrating her birthday with co-stars Dean Martin and Wally Cox, and photographer George Barris, in Martin’s dressing room on the set of Something’s Got to Give on June 1, 1962, Monroe’s last day on set before she was fired from the project.” [Usually attributed to Lawrence Schiller] – SOLD for $910